poetry. thoughts and more than make-believe.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentines Day Shouldn't be About Guns

Today is not their first day of kindergarten, but Valentines Day for my middle school and high schoolers.  Today is more difficult than their first day of school though.  Today I have to let them go to school because they have made the decision to go. And I really prefer they were home.

Everyday my youngest calls me after school.
Everyday I ask her how her day was, what the best part was or what the worst part was--because we all know that coming home is usually the best part of any day, or should be.
Anyhow, yesterday she told me that her teachers were "acting weird" and they were really secretive.  One teacher told her that if she was allowed, they would talk about it tomorrow.

That did make me wonder what was up.

Parents got a One Call Now in the afternoon, explaining that a cryptic note had been found in the high school boys bathroom that said, "School Columbine Number 2 - 2/14/13 - Good Luck."  The superintendent explained school would be "as usual" with a heightened sense of security with the police there. 

Guess we didn't have to wait till tomorrow to find out the secret.

I told each of them they could stay home.
They each told me why they couldn't.
So, I told them that they had the choice.
Still no.

My 7th grader, "I don't want to miss the work."  We then talked about Columbine.  She knew there had been a song written about it.

My 9th grader told me, "I don't like this choice."  And then explained why she was going to school:  scheduling.

My 11th grader, also scheduling. 

And then both of my high schoolers, at different times, had the same thought...the scheduling is taking place in a common room where most of the kids of each grade will be.  They understood that could be a place where most harm could be done, yet we don't live in fear, so they aren't acting in fear.

Their choice was to go. 

And I cried.
I cried because I am not sending my children to war.  I am sending them to school. 
I cried because this will become their normal.  Whether in school or the workplace, we accept gun violence is a possibility in what should be safe environments.
I cried because we should value our children, family and friends like we this everyday, not just a day we realize may be the last time we hug them goodbye.
I cried because I wished they were babies...unknowingly a simpler time.
I cried because my children will have police at the school all day. 
I cried because there is no right or wrong in this solution.
I cried because they had the choice to stay home and didn't.
I cried because they feel safe.
I cried because the note could have been a prank.
I cried for the person who wrote the note who didn't know what would become of the note.
I cried for the person who knew what would become of the note.
I cried for the parents of the person who wrote the note.
I cried for parents.
I cried for children.
I cried.

And then I hugged them goodbye.
Wished them Happy Valentines Day.
And can't wait to hear all about each of their days.
Police, talk about guns and everything in between.

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